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So, how many Mumsnetters "Aren't working enough"?

(136 Posts)
KeemaNaanAndCurryOn Mon 09-Sep-13 18:53:23

Guardian article here

First the weak, the sick and the disabled. Now people who work.

The next plan for Universal credit is to look at people who get Working Tax credit and assess whether they are working enough. If they're classed as such, they will need to find extra hours or they'll have their benefits cut.

Considering that a lot of low paid work is done by women, is it becoming a feminist issue?

StephenFrySaidSo Tue 10-Sep-13 13:07:03

I agree lougle- they need to rethink their terminology but of course they wont because 'not earning enough' doesnt help them reinforce the idea of those workshy scroungers in the way that 'not working enough' does.

MadameLeBean Tue 10-Sep-13 13:11:10

I understand that they would want to close the loophole of people working part time + tax credits instead of working full time. Not sure what the best way of doing that would be though and some people can only work part time because of the cost of childcare. Tax credits should never have been introduced - they should have forced the min wage up instead to living wage.

LunaticFringe Tue 10-Sep-13 13:11:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AlwaysWashing Tue 10-Sep-13 13:21:22

WHY should the Government push everyone towards working full time hours eretrew?

I have no intention of ever working full time again - I shall LIVE to my means. I'm sorry but there is more to life than work.

I hate being a consumer but know there's no way out of it - but hell I intend to live my life as fully as I can and that doesn't involve spending the majority of daylight hours working for someone/a company who really doesn't care about anything other than its bottom

lougle Tue 10-Sep-13 13:23:28

The other thing with benefits as they currently stand is this:

My DH works 30 hours per week. He is a caretaker for a school and has a second job as their crossing patrol man. He was talking about trying to find some more hours.

However, for every pound he earns, this is what happens:

£1 earned.
£0.20p Tax
£0.13 National Insurance
£0.05 Pension
Net: £0.62

But it doesn't stop there.

£1 earned = £0.41 deducted from Tax Credits.

£0.62-£0.41= £0.21

Of that 21 pence that is left, Council tax benefit deducts at a rate of 20% and Housing Benefit deducts at a rate of 65%. The council allow for half of pension contributions first, though.

0.185 x 0.65 = £0.12
0.185 x 0.20= £0.04

£0.21 -£0.12 -£0.04 = £0.05

DH will bring home 5 pence for every £1 he earns. That means he will bring home around 40 pence per hour for any extra hours he manages to secure.

Would you do it?

Meglet Tue 10-Sep-13 13:27:08

This has been bubbling under for a couple of years now and it terrifies me.

I'm a LP and intend to work part time until I pack my youngest off to Uni. There isn't a chance I'm working full time with teenagers at home, I will be there to support them with their school work and keep them on the straight and narrow.

I was the child of a LP who worked full time. Needless to say I never made it to uni (despite being bright) as I was too busy being bullied or self harming until mum got home to pick up the pieces at 6pm. I'm certain all the tax my mum paid went towards my considerable CAHMS costs. She is equally worried that I will be pushed to work full time and her grand children will suffer and history will repeat itself.

The tories don't have a clue how hard life is for 95% of the population. angry

lougle Tue 10-Sep-13 13:32:10

If I work and earn over £100 per week after tax and NI, I lose my carer's allowance (£53).

Look at the figures for that:

£100 earned
£0 tax
£0 NI

41% deducted from Tax Credits

£100 x 0.41 = £41

£100-£41 = £59

Housing benefit deducts 65%, council tax 20%:

59*0.65= £38.35
59*0.20= £11.80

59-38.35-11.80= £8.85

So, I'd lose my £59.75 carer's allowance and gain a total of £8.85.

That works out to be around 50 pence per hour.

eretrew Tue 10-Sep-13 13:36:46

AlwaysWashing- The Government wants to push people towards full time work because it maximises their productive output which in turn strengthens the economy and increases prosperity within the country.

sisterofmercy Tue 10-Sep-13 13:39:35

I think:

- The government should push (or nudge) employers towards offering people enough work for them to do full time before punishing people for not doing the hours.

- People should be paid a living wage and the government should stop subsiding employers who pay poverty wages or nothing at all (interns etc.) They are the biggest scroungers in terms of money spent on them.

- Zero hours employers should not be allowed to make people work exclusively for them if they cannot offer full time hours - or as many as the employee needs.

- people in desperate situations whether employers or employees shouldn't be made to feel like they are falling over a cliff. It's obscene.

But then I'm an 100% economic communist according to that online quiz thing.

Weegiemum Tue 10-Sep-13 13:40:10

I'm probably not working enough but dh is, so they ignore me.

I work 10 hrs doing literacy work for a charity. I volunteer 5 hours for a different group.

My dc are all at school and I am home t 4 for them.

I only claim DLA, but still feel ashamed.

LadyFlumpalot Tue 10-Sep-13 13:42:24

Question - does anyone know if the wage figures quoted are gross or net? I work 21 hours a week (childcare costs would just annihilate us if I worked full time) and my take home is just under the cut off figure that article quotes.

usualsuspect Tue 10-Sep-13 13:45:36

Eretrew, where are all these full tome jobs?

usualsuspect Tue 10-Sep-13 13:46:02


ShadeofViolet Tue 10-Sep-13 13:58:22

Its all very well to say that people need more hours, or better paid jobs, but somebody has to do the poorly paid jobs.

Where would we be without hospital cleaners, dinner ladies, carers, shop workers? And how many of these employers are willing for their staff to be flexible and fit their employment around other jobs?

Owllady Tue 10-Sep-13 14:05:50

I used to work as a retail manager and quite frankly, people who work in retail will be fucked because nobody wants to employ full timers. they want a flexible part time work force as it makes more economic sense

queenofdrama Tue 10-Sep-13 14:11:25

I can't find work to work around childcare. All the jobs around here are part time evenings & week end shifts. Dh does shift work (ridiculously long&awkward hours) so can't help with childcare or logistics really. I want to work. But there just aren't any jobs going that are full time 9-5. Wtaf am I supposed to do? Ihave 2 young dc so I can't retrain. I have absolutely no one to care for them in my absence.

Basically the govt are telling mothers: if you are highly educated, own your own property, work like a slave, then you have every right to have a family If you don't aren't those things then fuck right off, you're a lesser being. The govt are an idealistic bunch of twats.

usualsuspect Tue 10-Sep-13 14:12:37

I don't know anyone who works in retail who has full time hours.

The majority are on short hour contracts.

Owllady Tue 10-Sep-13 14:33:16

even a lot of deputy managers wont be on full time hours either, usual. the only person full time will be the store manager in a lot of cases (from my experience)

reelingintheyears Tue 10-Sep-13 14:37:50


ClaraOswald Tue 10-Sep-13 15:07:26

That's what it is with us, Owllady.

Manager on full time, I have a 30 hour contract so technically full time. We have one 24 hour supervisor, 1 x 16 hour supervisor and 3 sixteen hour advisors.

MurderOfGoths Tue 10-Sep-13 15:48:37

This scares me, right now I can't work, but hopefully more treatment and a sympathetic employer will one day make it possible for me to work again. But will I then find myself penalised for not doing enough?

And it is a fair point that the workers most likely to be penalised will be women, either due to having work around childcare or through doing low paid "womens" jobs.

expatinscotland Tue 10-Sep-13 17:17:09

Well, that's us even more fucked then.

They need to ban zero hours contracts that require you to be available 24/7 for this to work.

expatinscotland Tue 10-Sep-13 17:19:27

Well, that's us even more fucked then.

They need to ban zero hours contracts that require you to be available 24/7 for this to work.

NiceTabard Tue 10-Sep-13 19:30:33

It says they will be penalising people who work the equivalent of full time at just under minimum wage - so that would be what 34 hours a week at min wage?

Are they saying they want people on minimum wage / just under full time hours to take second jobs?

I don't really understand this confused

NiceTabard Tue 10-Sep-13 19:31:31

Why is it being based on income rather than hours worked?

It's not people "not working enough" it's people "not earning enough" and whose fault is that?

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